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notably the practice of various conquered people and countries Muslims encountered, especially in provinces previously under Roman law.
In spite of this, Lewis also states, "Islamic practice still represented a vast improvement on that inherited from antiquity, from Rome, and from Byzantium." Murray Gordon writes: "It was not surprising that Muhammad, who accepted the existing socio-political order, looked upon slavery as part of the natural order of things.
The unique contribution of the Qur'an, then, is to be found in its emphasis on the place of slaves in society and society's responsibility toward the slave, perhaps the most progressive legislation on slavery in its time." The most notable of Muhammad's slaves were: Safiyya bint Huyayy, whom he freed and married; Maria al-Qibtiyya, given to Muhammad by a Sassanid official, whom he freed and who may have become his wife; Lawful enslavement was restricted to two instances: capture in war (on the condition that the prisoner is not a Muslim), or birth in slavery.Islamic law did not recognize the classes of slave from pre-Islamic Arabia including those sold or given into slavery by themselves and others, and those indebted into slavery.In the instance of illness it would be required for the slave to be looked after. Based on the Quranic verse (), Islamic law permits a slave to ransom himself upon consent of his master through a contract known as mukataba. al-Hibri, a professor of Law specializing in Islamic jurisprudence, states that both the Qur'an and Hadith are repeatedly exhorting Muslims to treat the slaves well and that Muhammad showed this both in action and in words.His approach to what was already an age-old institution was reformist and not revolutionary.The Prophet had not in mind to bring about the abolition of slavery.